Celine Dion played in town last night, so there has been a flurry of her big hits playing on local stations. My kids already knew the My Heart Will Go On song from Titanic because we watched that movie last year, and with it in heavy rotation around here, everyone has been humming it all week.
I remember the summer of 1997 when that song was at #1 for like, 18 weeks or something ridiculous. I was a newly married lady and we had our morning alarm set to a local pop music station and I swear, that was the song that was playing every morning for at least a three-month stretch. Same time, every morning, Celine Dion welcomes you to the day. It was very Groundhog-Day-ish.
But even then, I didn’t really get tired of it. It’s not really my kind of song – I prefer jangly folk-rock with lots of acoustic guitars and a whiny lead singer – but it was a strong enough song to not actively annoy me through months of airplay.
Now my daughters, in particular, have both become a little obsessed and are playing that song over and over around the house, over dinner, before bed, and yes, first thing in the morning. It’s 1997 all over again.
I’m impressed though, that the song has such lasting power and impact. I guess there is something timeless and universal about it that it appeals to all ages and all types of music lovers.
I feel the same about The Lion King. I was at absolutely the wrong age for Lion King, being a young adult with no kids when it was released in 1994. But Sir Monkeypants and I had a few older friends at work and their toddlers and preschoolers were OBSESSED. They watched it over and over and knew all the songs.
When Little Miss Sunshine was a preschooler, I bought her a copy and the same thing happened. OBSESSION. She likes other Disney movies too, especially The Little Mermaid, but I have never seen love and adoration like a four-year-old has for The Lion King. And apparently, despite the years and advances in animation and whatever, it’s still got it.
This is in comparison to many other beloved films of my youth, not to mention classic, iconic movies from before my birth, that I’ve tried to show my children only to have them flop, or seem dated, or just move too slowly to grab them.
What do you think makes a pop culture gem so timeless that it will stand for the ages? I’ve been thinking it over and there’s no easy answers. I suppose if there were some kind of magic formula, every song would be an endless hit, and every movie would be in permanent Netflix rotation. I guess there’s just no explaining art.